Friday, December 11, 2009

Why the Senate health care bill is not pro-choice

It's pro-abortion. Jon Shields explains in the New Yorker:
The ban on abortion funding [passed in the U.S. House version of the health care reform legislation, but rejected by the Senate] extended the logic of the pro-choice case for abortion rights. Pro-choice advocates, after all, have long argued that we need to respect the private moral choices of American citizens. Public funding of abortion, by this logic, would not respect our moral differences because it would force pro-life citizens to subsidize the practice of abortion. A ban on funding, therefore, is consistent with what is essentially a libertarian case for abortion rights. This is partly why many Americans who are otherwise sympathetic to abortion access nevertheless believe the state should not treat abortion as a welfare right.
Even though its proponents claim to be "pro-choice," the Senate bill would force Americans to support elective abortions whether they want to or not.